The Trendy Trends Posts for 2018

It’s that time of the year when we see the “HR Predictions for 2018” posts. We will hear from HR professionals from all over giving their best insights on what the new year will bring for the world of Human Resources. Some will be bold and inspiring, others will be obvious. Regardless of the actual trends, we will see a common thread. The continued need for more human connection.

Most trend posts will highlight some new technology. By September 2018’s HR Tech conference, you will have overdosed on post about how Blockchain is the new revolution in HR. This will be the must-have technology and will be the latest disruptor in HR technology.

Artificial Intelligence will continue to dominate the conversation. Talent Acquisition departments will look for ways to further distance themselves from communicating to actual candidates and avoid building a relationship and finding out more about a candidate that what is on their resume or LinkedIn profile. We’ll hear how these tools will erase bias and discrimination from the process and create more efficiencies while just adding more bias and discrimination to the process. AI learns from human behavior.

And we can’t forget about our pals Culture and Engagement. They are the evergreen trend setters of the HR space. Companies will continue to seek the Holy Grail of the right percentage of engagement and try to develop the secret sauce of culture. There will be platforms and surveys and best practices that will solve all the engagement problems. Technologies and solutions to develop the best cultures. And those trends will always be around because we continue to distance ourselves from the real issue.

Each of these trends are trying to solve for one of the biggest things employees are looking for in the workplace. They are looking for a place to make a human connection. Between their MBOs and KPIs, employees want to talk to others. Sure they want to do meaningful work, but they really want to have meaningful relationships at work. Those relationships and connections aren’t built through an AI algorithm or performance management tool.

Those employees that tell you they just want to do their job and go home are telling you they don’t like the work environment or those around them. There is something they aren’t getting from their workplace. According to this Harvard Business Review article, people are experiencing more exhaustion and burnout in the workplace. And this leads to loneliness.

Yes, a job is just a job. It provides a paycheck in order for people to acquire food, shelter, and some other things to make their lives a little better. But the job also provides a place for employees to interact and engage with each other. To share some great news about their kids’ accomplishments or how their dog learned a new trick. It’s a place they can find comfort when going through a painful time in their lives.

These trends all have the best of intentions. We want to try to reach each employee and provide them with a world-class experience. We want to make our lives easier by removing much of the administrative tasks from our plates so we can focus on the strategic. And I’m all for that.

But let’s not lose sight of the humans in the resources. Look to the trends that will free up our time to engage more with our employees. Teach our leaders how to have better, more meaningful conversations, and not replace those experiences with a technology solution. Encourage our Talent Acquisition pros to dig a little deeper into a resume and look past a title.

The biggest trends and most popular trend posts for 2018 will be just like this post. HR will continue to try to bring back a human connection to Human Resources as we continue to see it slip away. AI is artificial. Technological relationships are not real. Let’s stop pretending they are.

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